Against all odds, Terry Rozier has made it all the way to the National Basketball Association, where, with the Larry O’Brien trophy by his side, he would certainly use any lemons that life has offered him in the past to motivate himself to sip some lemonade one day.
The former student-athlete from Louisville, who joined the league as a colleague after two seasons, was awarded 16th place in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics.
Rozier, whose full name is Terry William Rozier III, was born in Youngstown, Ohio on March 17, 1994, the son of Gina Tucker and Terry Rozier. However, he grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio and attended Shaker Heights High School, where he made a name for himself as a member of the school’s basketball team.
Terry Rozier’s performances on the court were not enough to get into college because of his poor grades. As a result, he had to attend a college preparatory school, Hargrave Military Academy, where he was able to improve his grades while playing for the team on the court and earning the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic MVP 2012 award. After Hargrave, Rozier went to the University of Louisville on a scholarship.
In his first year, Rozier played in 37 games, averaging 7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game when he was called up to the AAC All-Rookie Team. The following year, he was named to the second All-ACC selection, behind a team-high score of 17.1 points per game season. In addition, he averaged 3.0 assists, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game before being nominated for the 2015 NBA Draft, where he was awarded 16th place by the Boston Celtics.
Terry Rozier’s Family
Terry Rozier’s family was both the source of his inspiration and the difficulties he faced on his way into the NBA. As a child, Rozier had no male influence in his life because his father spent most of his life behind bars. When the young ballplayer was two months old, his father was locked up for 8 years. This meant that he was mainly raised by his mother, who occasionally asked relatives for help for her son and his older half-sister, Tre’dasia, who suffers from cerebral palsy.
When Rozier was 5 years old, his father was released from prison, and for the first time in the life of father and son they were allowed to spend some time together. However, the elder Rozier’s presence at home lasted only about nine months before he was arrested for his role in a case of robbery, kidnapping, and involuntary manslaughter, and was subsequently incarcerated for 13 years. As a result, Rozier’s mother was left with the responsibility of raising her now three young children all by herself. While she was trying to do this, she was threatened by her husband’s acquaintances because of his actions. This prompted her to ship her children to her mother, Amanda Tucker, who lived in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
At that time, Mama Tucker had custody of the children, including Terry Rozier, who became very homesick and caused her so much trouble that she considered sending him to a juvenile detention center or foster home. Despite all the frustration, he caused her, she stayed with him until he was old enough to understand what was going on. Today, he not only has his father’s face tattooed with the word “motivation” written over it but also the names of his mother and grandmother tattooed on his forearms.
Terry Rozier spent part of his rookie season with Boston’s G-League subsidiary, the Maine Red Claws, but was still able to influence his team. In the 2015-16 season, he played 39 regular-season games with an average of 1.8 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. In the 2016 playoffs, he scored an average of 4.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 5 games.
Rozier’s role in his team increased in his second season when he played 74 games with an average of 5.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. In the 2017 playoffs, he played in 17 games with an average of 5.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Rozier eventually grew into the player everyone expected him to be in the 2017-18 season. The point-guard experienced a groundbreaking season in which he scored his first triple-double on his first start for the team. He finished the season with an average of 11.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in 80 matches. In the 2018 playoffs, he averaged 16.5 points and 5.3 assists in 19 games.
Terry Rozier is not nearly as tall as the average NBA player, measuring only 1.5 meters 2 inches. However, since speed, ball control, situational awareness, and agility are the main requirements for a point guard, his size does not matter, although it can sometimes be an advantage.